Ten Facts About the Paralympics
Today it is 100 days until the London 2012 Paralympics and for me and my family, we are at least as excited about it as the Olympics – especially as we’ve managed to secure both swimming and athletics tickets. With my “Paralympics hat” on, I thought it would be fun to find out ten facts about the Paralympics I didn’t know when I woke up this morning (including, of course, several swimming facts). How many do you know?
- The Paralympics date back to a wonderful Dr Guttmann. He believed in using sports therapy to enhance the quality of life for people who were injured or wounded during World War II. In 1948 he organised the “Wheelchair Games” to coincide with the Olympics. His vision made the Paralympics the incredible International event that they are today.
- The phrase Paralympics is short for “Parallel Olympics” because in 1960, the Olympics were held in Rome, and Guttmann brought 400 wheelchair athletes to the Olympic city to compete. The modern Parallel Olympics (or "Paralympics") were born.
- There are six different disability groups in the Paralympic Movement. These are: Amputee, Cerebral Palsy, Visual impairment, Spinal cord injuries, Intellectual disability and a group called ‘Les Autres’ which includes all those who don’t fit into the other groups.
- The first rowing at the Paralympics was in 2008. It is the newest Paralympic sport.
- Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Roberts are Britain’s most successful Paralympians. Both have won 11 gold medals each. Grey-Thompson won hers on the track and Roberts in the pool.
- In London in 2012 4,200 athletes from 160 countries are expected to attend with 471 medal events on the programme.
- With the second largest number of athletes and events at the Games, Swimming is one of the most popular Paralympic sports. In London, 600 swimmers will be competing in nearly 150 medal events across 10 days.
- Swimmers are classified according to how their impairment affects their ability to perform each stroke. Classes are: athletes with physical impairments (classes 1-10),athletes with a visual impairment (classes 11-13) and athletes with an intellectual impairment (class 14)
- Breaststroke uses greater leg propulsion than any other stroke, therefore athletes with a physical impairment often have a different class for this event compared to Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly.
- And yet, sadly, with 100 days to go until the Paralympics, Channel 4 News finds British children with disabilities still have "huge problems" accessing sport. Only one in six disabled adults plays sport regularly, compared to one in three non-disabled adults.
Puddle Ducks welcomes enquiries from any parent of a child with disabilities and we will do our utmost to include your child in our classes if at all possible. Swimming is an amazing activity for all and we want everyone to love swimming for life! Please give us a ring to find out.
Posted by Tracy on Monday, 21st May 2012Go back to latest posts
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